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11 February 2016

In the World of Health Foods, Looks Can Be Deceiving


Idealized foods baffle consumers.

Picture from Le Fil

Research led by Véronique Provencher, professor and researcher at the School of Nutrition at University Laval and INAF member, and her student, Raphaëlle Jacob, has shown that consumers concerned about their diet are having more and more trouble seeing things clearly when it comes to health food.

Perceptions about food can be influenced by the way the product is presented (health vs. gourmet), where it falls in regards to the major food categories (vegetables vs. chips) and the brand name (Kashi vs. Nabisco). Dr. Provencher explains, “Although consumers try to make rational choices, the abundance of information makes things complicated.”

The solution can be found in improving the product offering and developing the options available to consumers, who must give priority to unprocessed or lightly processed foods and take the time to cook.

Read the article in Le Fil [in French only]